Nissan begins rural field trial of e-NV200 electric van in Japan
The two-week trial will include using the test vehicle to collect produce from local farmers and deliver them to roadside markets, to see whether electric vehicles are suitable for out-of-city use. Nissan said it was also important because fuel stations in rural areas, such as Tochigi, are declining due to a shrinking, ageing population.
Agricultural communities are able to generate their own power, using hydroelectric, solar and biomass generation, and this is encouraged in Tochigi. Such areas are also exposed to electrical blackouts, so a further trial is planned later this year to include testing the e-NV200 as a power source.
The Tochigi trial is the latest in a series of pre-launch tests for the e-NV200 van. In Britain, a test vehicle has been trialled by FedEx in London and British Gas, while the Japan Postal Service, FedEx and supermarket chain AEON have carried out similar real-world testing in recently. Before its market launch, the van will be tested as a London taxi.
Mass market production is scheduled for the 2013 financial year, with European e-NV200s built alongside their conventionally-powered counterparts at Nissan’s factory in Barcelona.